Damon Pattison, currently head of development at BBC Studios, has been appointed as the new Head of Entertainment North, BBC Studios, based across Salford and Glasgow, where he will lead the strategy for entertainment out of London. He will be joined by ex-BBC1’s Pam Cavannagh who becomes Creative Director.
Pattison is also charged with implementing new editorial and business strategies for the department with a view to growing the slate in the nations and regions. He will report into BBC Studios’ newly appointed Genre Director for Entertainment and Music, Suzy Lamb when she joins in the New Year.
Mark Linsey, Director, BBC Studios, who made the appointment said: “Glasgow and Salford are increasingly important hubs for BBC Studios as we expand, so Damon’s appointment is really key for us. He has a wealth of experience and is awash with fresh ideas. He is so passionate and creative and I know he will have a brilliant impact on BBC Studios’ entertainment teams in Glasgow and Salford.”
Pattison said: “It’s an incredibly exciting time to be part of BBC Studios and I am looking forward to growing the out of London entertainment slate, and working with the teams to add to the raft of much loved shows and creating future hits.”
He joined BBC Studios as Head of Development in March 2016 where he ran a development team which focussed on formatted and factual entertainment. He also helped manage the contestability process for shows including Question of Sport and Holby City.
Prior to this role, he was Creative Director at BBC Development Central, and before this was Creative Director at Keo Films. Between 2007 and 2013 he set up, and was Managing Director of, Lucky Day Productions which became a wholly owned subsidiary of Zodiak Media in 2011. Here he co-created and/or executive produced various shows – many out of Glasgow – including Disaster Chefs (CBBC); Secret Location (C4 Daytime); School of Silence and Show Me the Monet for (BBC2 Daytime).
He began his career at the BBC as a researcher, AP and producer in entertainment before moving to Celador where he produced and exec produced many shows including Who Wants To be A Millionaire (ITV), How Long Have You Got? (C4) and No Waste Like Home (BBC2). He also co-created and produced four series and numerous specials of You Are What You Eat.
He takes up the role in the New Year.
Pam Cavannagh joins BBC Studios from BBC One where she was Channel Executive and before that was Channel Executive for BBC One and BBC Three. Prior to this from 2009, she was a commissioning editor for BBC Daytime where she commissioned shows including Pointless, Perfection, Decimate, Strictly It Takes Two, The Edge, Escape to the Country and Great British Railway Journeys. Working alongside Pattison, Cavannagh will be responsible for helping to grow the entertainment slates in Salford and Glasgow and support existing productions.
Mark Linsey said: “We are extremely lucky to have Pam joining us. She has great knowledge and insight from her days in commissioning and a genuine flair for development that makes her a brilliant and exciting creative leader.”
After 12 years at the BBC, Kieron Collins, Managing Editor, Entertainment North has announced he is leaving to pursue new opportunities. He said: “I’ve absolutely loved my time leading the teams behind some of the BBC’s most iconic entertainment shows, including Dragons’ Den, Mastermind, Question of Sport and many more. This year we’ve developed two fantastic new formats for BBC One, with daytime quiz The Boss and the Saturday night tribute act spectacular Even Better Than The Real Thing. And to work on all those shows with the best people in TV – and to do it from the North – has been a privilege and a joy. If I have half as much fun in my next job, I’ll be happy”.
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